CJ McCollum was not messing around during Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday.
McCollum was feeling it throughout his Portland Trail Blazers’ 100-96 win over the Denver Nuggets and did not let up in the fourth quarter. He went 3-for-5 over the final three minutes of the game, making what proved to be the game-sealing shot on an elbow jumper.
In his tweet about the play, Steve Jones Jr. said Denver’s Torrey Craig played “great” defense on McCollum. McCollum disagreed, saying “Great defense my a–,” in response on Twitter.
He was just oozing with confidence all day.
That was further felt by McCollum saying he demanded the ball at the end because he didn’t think Craig could guard him.
McCollum played like a man sick of being caught up in the memes for not winning a playoff game in the Blazers’ last two postseason trips. Sunday’s performance is what fans will remember about him now.
The woman behind the famous “I’m trying Jennifer” meme received renewed attention on Sunday after CJ McCollum’s huge performance in Game 7.
McCollum scored an incredible 37 points and delivered a huge chasedown block as he carried the Portland Trail Blazers to the Western Conference finals with a 100-96 win at Denver in Game 7.
As McCollum’s massive offensive performance unfolded, fans on Twitter kept referencing the “I’m trying Jennifer” meme.
Last year, McCollum ripped the “disgusting” stars who joined the Warriors. His comment came in August in the context of DeMarcus Cousins signing with Golden State.
A woman on Twitter named Jennifer Williams didn’t like McCollum criticizing her favorite team (Golden State) and zinged him in response, telling him to “win a playoff game then talk.” McCollum’s response, “I’m trying Jennifer,” went viral.
Portland had been swept out of the playoffs in the first round two years in a row when Jennifer zinged McCollum.
Fast forward to Sunday, and McCollum had the game of his life carrying his team to the conference finals, where they will face Williams’ Warriors. Jennifer was congratulatory of CJ for “trying” and recognized his effort.
She even acknowledged she had been served some humble sauce.
Someone needs to get CJ’s biggest inspiration to the conference finals.
In addition to the Jennifer meme, McCollum said he was motivated by some other factors after last year’s exit. You could tell this year he was on a mission to turn things around. He did just that.
CJ McCollum delivered a huge performance in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals between his Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets. Not only was he shooting the ball well and carrying his squad offensively, but he also went into his bag of tricks for a major defensive play in the fourth quarter.
With under five minutes left in the game, Nikola Jokic blocked a Damian Lillard layup and threw an outlet pass to Jamal Murray. Murray looked like he would go in for an easy layup to make it a 2-point game, but McCollum came out of nowhere for the chasedown block.
McCollum was 16-for-26 with 35 points to that point and by far the team’s leading scorer. When you combine what he did to carry his team on offense with that big hustle play, there’s not enough you can say about him.
He was playing like he really didn’t want to see his brother in Europe.
It has not taken a lot of time for the NBA playoffs to produce some incredibly memorable and elite performances. The first round alone offered a whole lot of signature moments for the game’s leading stars, and the second round has gotten off to a running start in that regard as well.
Which players have led the charge? Here are the top ten performers in the NBA playoffs so far.
10. C.J. McCollum, Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard got the majority of the headlines for Portland, and deservedly so, but McCollum has stepped up his game in the playoffs to help his teammate along. When the Trail Blazers won, he was usually in the middle of it. In Portland’s two most lopsided wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder, McCollum had his two best scoring games of the playoffs, contributing 33 and 27 points. His 23 points per game is the 12th-best mark in the playoffs, ahead of the likes of top scoring guards Russell Westbrook and DeMar DeRozan.
The Portland Trail Blazers are one win away from advancing in the postseason after they took a 3-1 series lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, and the performance of CJ McCollum is a big reason why. You can thank his critics for that.
After he scored 27 points in Sunday’s 111-98 win at OKC, McCollum told reporters he and his teammates have been motivated this year by their “really embarrassing” playoff sweep at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans a year ago.
The Blazers may have also gotten an extra boost from Paul George, who irritated them with a meaningless dunk at the end of Game 3. Plus, Russell Westbrook is doing a poor job of putting the Thunder in position to win with the way he has been shooting the ball.
McCollum dealt with a knee injury toward the end of the season, but fortunately it turned out to be nothing serious. While many picked the Thunder to turn some heads in the playoffs after the season George had, Portland may be a team to watch out for going forward.
CJ McCollum left Saturday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs with what many feared was a significant knee injury, but the Portland Trail Blazers guard reportedly got good news after undergoing further evaluation.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, McCollum was diagnosed with only a strain in his left knee. He will miss some time and be reevaluated next week.
McCollum suffered the injury while he was going up for a layup attempt and got blocked by Jakob Poeltl. He immediately grabbed his knee in pain and was helped off the court by teammates.
The Blazers are 42-27 and currently the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference, so getting McCollum healthy for the postseason will be their top priority.
CJ McCollum had to be helped off the court after suffering a leg injury during the third quarter of the Portland Trail Blazers’ game at San Antonio on Saturday.
McCollum was going up for a dunk/layup attempt and got blocked by Jakob Poeltl. The Blazers guard went tumbling to the ground and was grabbing his leg in pain.
Portland’s team huddled over McCollum around the basket as he was down. He had to be helped off by teammates.
Portland later said McCollum would not return to the game.
McCollum had 10 points in 23 minutes prior to his injury. He’s averaging 21.5 points per game this season for the 42-26 Blazers.
The Portland Trail Blazers suffered one of the worst losses in franchise history on Wednesday, and CJ McCollum would rather pretend that it didn’t happen.
The Blazers fell in their Thanksgiving Eve matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks by the eye-popping final of 143-100. After the demolition was complete, McCollum hilariously responded to a Bleacher Report tweet about the score by saying that there was “nothing to see here.”
Granted, Portland was playing on the second end of a back-to-back and still boasts the second-best record in the Western Conference, even with the loss. But a 43-point drubbing where they shot 36 percent as a team and posted 13 assists to 17 turnovers isn’t exactly anything to write home about.
On the bright side though, at least the Blazers didn’t handle their L as poorly as this Western rival did.
CJ McCollum looked sharp in the Portland Trail Blazers preseason opener against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, and that must have been a welcome sign to the team after McCollum battled some knee issues in recent months.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that McCollum received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right knee during the offseason after he was experiencing some pain and swelling. Sources told Haynes that McCollum began experiencing the discomfort late last season, but an MRI revealed that there was no structural damage. McCollum was sidelined for nine weeks after getting the injection.
McCollum scored nine points in 12 minutes on Saturday, which would seem to indicate he was feeling fine. If he was still experiencing pain or there was any question about his health, he probably would not have played in a meaningless preseason game.
It should come as no surprise that Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum isn’t a big fan of the Golden State Warriors, and particularly the superstars who choose to play for them.
After DeMarcus Cousins took a one-year deal to join the Warriors, McCollum told China Central Television and said he would never join the cavalcade of stars who join the Warriors for a short time to win a championship.
“I would never do anything of that nature,” McCollum said. “That’s disgusting. I’m not built like those guys. I was raised differently.
“I think some players will take that route, but most guys have too much pride, want to really win on their own or in their certain organizations and aren’t going to just jump the bandwagon.”
McCollum’s opinions will come as no surprise. He got into it on Twitter with one Warriors star who took that route, so it’s pretty clear where he stands on this.